You’ve either got a taste for the blood-drenched, sexed-up, medieval-flavored political brilliance of Game of Thrones – or you don’t. I figure I’m in good company with Margaret Atwood, who says, “Once sucked in, you stay sucked. Be warned.” I’m also expecting to be wild about the BBC miniseries Wolf Hall, which airs Sunday nights beginning April 5th on PBS Masterpiece (9 pm central). Game of Thrones starts up again on HBO the following week, April 12th (8 pm central). If this is cruelty, I love it.
Here’s the low-down on Wolf Hall, from PBS.org:
“Tony Award-winning actor Mark Rylance (Twelfth Night) and Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Damian Lewis (Homeland) star in the six-hour television miniseries adapted from Hilary Mantel’s best-selling Booker Prize-winning novels: Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies. The television event presents an intimate and provocative portrait of Thomas Cromwell, the brilliant and enigmatic consigliere to King Henry VIII, as he maneuvers the corridors of power at the Tudor court. MASTERPIECE brings both of these works to life in Wolf Hall, airing on Sundays, April 5-May 10, 2015 at 10pm ET on MASTERPIECE on PBS.
Mark Rylance is Thomas Cromwell, a brutal blacksmith’s son who rises from the ashes of personal disaster, and deftly picks his way through a court where ‘man is wolf to man.’ Damian Lewis is King Henry VIII, haunted by his brother’s premature death and obsessed with protecting the Tudor dynasty by securing his succession with a male heir to the throne.
Told from Cromwell’s perspective, Wolf Hall follows the complex machinations and back room dealings of this pragmatic and accomplished power broker – from humble beginnings and with an enigmatic past – who must serve king and country while dealing with deadly political intrigue, Henry VIII’s tempestuous relationship with Anne Boleyn and the religious upheavals of the Protestant reformation.”
I checked back in with T.S. Eliot on April. “The Waste Land” (1922) begins with a surprisingly Game of Thrones vibe. Eliot gets the last word today:
APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.